With the Lok Sabha elections around the corner, factionism in the local unit of the Congress came to the fore when two groups of party workers led by AICC secretary Ashwani Sekhri and former Youth Congress general Nitin Sharma used abusive language against each other during the Ram Navami procession here today.
The supporters of both the groups also tried to manhandle each other while their respective leaders used not only abusive language but also had a scuffle with each other in front of state Congress chief Partap Singh Bajwa and thousands of people who were a part of the procession.
Eyewitnesses said that the supporters of the two groups pushed each other when some photo journalists were clicking Bajwa's pictures. Later, the situation worsened when Sekhri and Sharma had a scuffle and both started using abusive language against each other and their supporters started raising slogans in favour of their leaders.
Seeing the situation going out of control, Bajwa's bodyguards escorted him out of the melee after which he left the procession.
When contacted, Bajwa said that on the recommendations of Sekhri, he had expelled Sharma from the primary membership of the party. He said that he will not allow such an indiscipline in the party.
Sharma has been a close associate of Bajwa and during the last assembly elections.